Driving Iceland Again / by Julien Balmer


On my return to Iceland I made sure to arrive a few weeks deeper into autumn than the year before, hoping for a different colour palette and more importantly first snow.

I first drove to Iceland’s western region where I explored the area around Snæfellsjökull National Park. From there I headed east and inland, taking some of the last open F-roads and getting a first impression of the more barren highlands. I enjoyed the driving experience (4x4 Toyota), and loved being immersed in monochromatic landscapes.

I then made my way back to the main roads and began following Route 1, eventually covering the entire southern and eastern stretch of the ring road till Egilsstaðir. Exception made of my highland images all photographs below were taken next to or very close the popular ring road, highlighting the fact that great pictures can be taken even without venturing off the beaten track.

Shot on a DSLR and iPhone.

Early morning sun hitting a beautiful stretch of road near Hellnar in Iceland’s western region.

Early morning sun hitting a beautiful stretch of road near Hellnar in Iceland’s western region.

First light on a mountain near Hellnar in Iceland’s western region.

First light on a mountain near Hellnar in Iceland’s western region.

An abandoned house on the coast of Iceland’s western region.

An abandoned house on the coast of Iceland’s western region.

Driving through Iceland’s western region, not far from Snæfellsjökull National Park. Fall colours galore.

Driving through Iceland’s western region, not far from Snæfellsjökull National Park. Fall colours galore.

Highlands monochrome, somewhere along F388.

Highlands monochrome, somewhere along F388.

Afternoon sun illuminating the coastal landscape near Hof.

Afternoon sun illuminating the coastal landscape near Hof.

Mysterious volcanic landscape near Hof.

Mysterious volcanic landscape near Hof.

Fantastic mountain detail between Hof and Höfn.

Fantastic mountain detail between Hof and Höfn.

Awe-inspiring mountain scenery between Hof and Höfn. Note the white Jeep in the lower left corner for size reference.

Awe-inspiring mountain scenery between Hof and Höfn. Note the white Jeep in the lower left corner for size reference.

Blue mood in Iceland’s eastern region.

Blue mood in Iceland’s eastern region.

Closeup shot of Breiðamerkurjökull glacier in Iceland’s eastern region.

Closeup shot of Breiðamerkurjökull glacier in Iceland’s eastern region.

Massive glacier closeup in Iceland’s eastern region.

Massive glacier closeup in Iceland’s eastern region.

Dramatic rocky landscape somewhere along Route 1 east of Höfn.

Dramatic rocky landscape somewhere along Route 1 east of Höfn.

Rock towers kissed by first snow of the year, somewhere along Route 1 east of Höfn.

Rock towers kissed by first snow of the year, somewhere along Route 1 east of Höfn.